Metsäliitto Group has started testing the Finnish FSC certification standard in some of its forests as part of a move to offer more choice in forest certification.

The group’s forests have already been certified according to the PEFC standard.

The FSC project covers the forests owned by Metsä-Botnia and Metsäliitto Co-operative, covering 35,000ha. An FSC certificate is expected to be forthcoming by the end of 2012.

Metsäliitto will then offer its members who have forest management service agreements the option to join its FSC group certificate.

“We aim at a continuous increase in the volume of certified products,” said executive vice-president Juha Mäntylä.

“At the moment, approximately 80% of the wood used by Metsäliitto is PEFC or FSC certified, and we wish to promote forest certification in all our areas of operation.”

Two per cent of Finnish forests have been certified to the FSC standard since Finland’s new standard was approved in May 2011.

About 95% of Finnish forests have been certified according to PEFC.